Week #10 May 6 - 8

This week we look at the work of PRO assistant referees as we analyze two delayed flags in Seattle,  a simultaneous offside/penalty kick in Orlando and should Montreal been penalized for offside on a goal scoring opportunity. 

Simultaneous Fouls in Orlando

Interesting situation in Orlando where the assistant referee raises his flag for offside at the same time the referee whistles for a penalty kick.  After a face to face consultation the referee decides to go with the offside. 
The Law states that when two fouls happen at the same time the more serious infraction is penalized.  The assistant referee in this case has acted correctly by flagging the offside since that is his priority and he cannot know what the referee has called. He simply needs to inform him that he has called offside, the referee then needs to decide which occurred first or if they were simultaneous.  
So were they simultaneous? 
Offside is called at the moment the ball is played, however we know that offside has more than one component.  When the ball is played there is only offside position, there is no offense until he interferes or gains an advantage.  Looking at this play, there is no foul when the ball is played (the moment offside position is determined).  Once the offside player heads the ball he interferes with play and is then penalized for offside. 
The foul is happening in front of the offside player.   If you watch the two players involved they are tussling as the ball is in the air and fall when the ball is headed.  When does that foul occur?
What would be your decision? 

What is the correct decision?

Delayed Flags in Seattle

Two different offside situations where the flag was delayed the same match, but were they both necessary?

There is rarely any need to raise the flag immediately when dealing with offside and PRO assistant referees know that by taking a breath before raising the flag they will be afforded the opportunity to correctly analyze whether an offside position needs to be penalized. The only exception is when there is a possibility of a collision with the goalkeeper. 
Which brings us to a no-win decision for the assistant referee in Seattle.  As is all to common, the announcers do not read the situation correctly.  The assistant is not waiting for Chad Barrett to touch the ball, but rather if Wondolowski, who is onside, will be able to play the ball also.  Once he sees that the goalkeeper will get to the ball before both of the San Jose players and there is a possibility of a collision with the offside player he raises the flag. 
However, this play develops rather quickly and at an unusually far distance from the goal leaving him only a moment to put these three items together to decide when he must raise the flag.  By the time the flag is raised and the whistle blown a collision could have occurred.
To determine if you need to raise the flag immediately consider these two factors:

  • Is the offside player clearly attempting to play the ball?
  • Is the goalkeeper attempting to play the same ball?

If this is the case, then for reasons of player safety, you must raise the flag immediately.

Chad Barrett is in an offside position once again in the same match, however in this clip you can see that there is no onside player within a reasonable distance that could play the ball.  Although an immediate flag is not needed, you do not have to wait for him to actually touch the ball.

Is this Interfering With an Opponent?

In Columbus vs Montreal offside was called on this play.  
Montreal has a player in the goal area that is in an offside position and you need to determine if his actions make an impact on the goalkeeper to determine if he needs to be penalized for interfering with an opponent.
To meet the requirements he needs:

  • to clearly attempt to play the ball which is close to him.
  • to make an obvious action which clearly impacts on the ability goalkeeper to play the ball

Since the player is not within the site of the goalkeeper and is not close enough to the ball his actions do not have an impact on an opponent.   He also does not clearly attempt to play the ball and it is actually a team mate who comes from an onside position who plays the ball. 
This play is not offside.